Legislature To Hold Joint Session On Superintendent Race
House Speaker Jim Black has said that the Legislature will hold a special joint session on Tuesday, August 23, 2005, to determine who should lead the state’s education department. Last November’s race between Democrat June Atkinson and Republican Bill Fletcher for the State’s Superintendent of Public Instruction is the only remaining undecided race in the nation for a statewide or federal post. Atkinson leads Fletcher by 8,535 votes out of more than 3.3 million ballots cast last fall, but Fletcher has challenged the legality of thousands of ballots, which has further delayed a final decision. The state constitution gives the Legislature authority to decide such contested elections, so the House and Senate will meet in a rare joint session to hear from the Joint Contested Elections Committee before making a final decision on the winner. The 10-member, bi-partisan joint legislative committee recommended that the victory go to Atkinson earlier this week in its final meeting.